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Everything Else » IDE Cable for LCD?

January 04, 2011
by Steven
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I want to clean up my NerdKit's breadboard and add a little bit of flexibility to the LCD screen. I had an extra IDE cable laying around, so I tore off a 10-wire wide length and stripped each wire. The wires seem a little small; will they offer a reliable connection between the MCU and the LCD?

January 04, 2011
by Ralphxyz
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I used a Cat5 cable and soldered 22awg 1/2 inch pieces to each wire, works fine.

Makes it much neater.

Ralph

January 04, 2011
by Steven
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I used a Cat5 cable and soldered 22awg 1/2 inch pieces to each wire, works fine.

That might be a better idea that an IDE cable. It won't hurt to try I guess; I'll post back when I try. Thanks for the suggestion!

January 04, 2011
by mongo
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It works OK. The spacing is every other wire and it might take a little tracing to get the right ones.

January 08, 2011
by Steven
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I went ahead and used the IDE cable I had. I tinned all the endings so I could get them into the breadboard easier, and soldered bits of solid core wire onto one end for the LCD connecter. I chose to have the cable running from the LCD end into consecutive breadboard holes and then used a second IDE cable connecting it to the MCU. I misjudged the length needed for this second cable so maybe I'll clean that up. Otherwise everything works great!

Main Overview

LCD Connecter

MCU Connection

January 08, 2011
by Rick_S
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Looks good

January 08, 2011
by Steven
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Looks good

Thanks! I also found your post on adding a reset switch and found 7 of those tactile switches inside an old DVD player. Works great.

January 08, 2011
by Rick_S
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I stripped a bunch of those switches out of an old cable box. I noticed the reset you had there just didn't mention it. I'm glad to see people using some of the ideas I've posted. The reset button makes reprogramming much less hassle.

I was on my phone when I initially commented that was why the two word comment. :)

Rick

January 08, 2011
by Steven
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I stripped a bunch of those switches out of an old cable box.

Nice; the DVD player I opened was pretty cheap but full of useful parts. I found a few N/C switches from the actual drive too (for detecting the position of the tray I imagine). I'm sure those will come in handy at some point as well.

January 08, 2011
by mongo
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I see now... I thought you were going to use the connectors on the IDE cables too... DUHH!

Looks good though. I am doing something similar but chose to make it into a cable with plugs that match up on both ends. Pin headers work nicely here and just happen to have the same spacing.

January 08, 2011
by Steven
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I see now... I thought you were going to use the connectors on the IDE cables too... DUHH!

Nah, I was considering stealing a connector from a motherboard but it would have been overkill for 10 wires. I might run to RadioShack and see what kind of plugs/connectors they have and possibly pick up a bigger breadboard.

January 08, 2011
by mongo
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I was at RS a few days ago, looking for things to improve my little setup. All I could find was a few rolls of 22ga wire.

January 09, 2011
by Steven
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I was at RS a few days ago, looking for things to improve my little setup. All I could find was a few rolls of 22ga wire.

I was just there and they really don't have much besides the popular parts. I did pick up more heat shrink tubing, a few rolls of 22 gauge wire, and a light up Christmas tree kit (which came with seven extra LEDs). I decided to redo the connection to the LCD (hence the purchase of additional heat shrink tubing) and it looks much better now:

January 09, 2011
by mongo
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Looks nice. Much cleaner now.

January 10, 2011
by Steven
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Looks nice. Much cleaner now.

Thanks! I should have taken more pictures when I was making it. Each wire is individually wrapped in heat shrink tubing to prevent shorts and the like. The outside tubing was put on when the wires were plugged in to get the correct spacing, and I put the heat gun on high and waiting a bit longer than usual to get it to melt/bind with the inner tubing on the wires. It acts like a single plug and doesn't shift around.

January 25, 2011
by Singlecoilx3
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Wow Steven, this looks very good. I am thinking about raiding the old computer I have collecting dust in my closet to make my own and see what other useful stuff I can find to improve my projects. Thanks for posting the pictures.

January 25, 2011
by Steven
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Wow Steven, this looks very good. I am thinking about raiding the old computer I have collecting dust in my closet to make my own and see what other useful stuff I can find to improve my projects. Thanks for posting the pictures.

Thanks! I'm actually working on a newer cable that combines the grounds and has an in-line contrast resistor. I'll post some pictures when I'm finished with that.

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